Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Dr. Kellie Leitch: ' I believe that the future of health care can be improved by clinicians having a better understanding of business operations.'

J.P. Moczulski/The Globe and Mail

Kellie Leitch is currently the Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey and Parliamentary Secretary to two Ministers. She is also a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and an associate professor of surgery. Dr. Leitch earned her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1994, an MBA from Dalhousie University in 1998, and she completed the Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program in 2001. In 2005, Dr. Leitch was selected as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 and in 2010, she received the Order of Ontario.

What made you decide to complete your MBA whilst in the midst of your medical residency?

As an orthopedic surgery resident you are encouraged to do one or two years of research during your residency. I believe that the future of health care can be improved by clinicians having a better understanding of business operations.

Story continues below advertisement

When I approached the Dean and Chairman of Surgery about studying for an MBA rather than doing a traditional route of a PhD, it was a surprisingly easy conversation. The only requirement was that I had to keep up my medical skills by attending orthopedic rounds while studying business. By completing my MBA, I was not only able to improve my medical career but also able to help teach future doctors on how to improve the system.

How long did it take for you to realize the value of your MBA? Do you feel that having an MBA offered you opportunities that would not have been available otherwise?

The return was immediate. As one of the only surgeons in the country with an MBA, I was given unique roles that were based on my education and ability to think differently than a traditionally trained physician.

I was also lucky enough to be introduced to a Dean of Medicine who believed in giving young people opportunities. Because of this and because of my education, I was given the task of developing the first pediatric surgery division at the University Western Ontario. I was also cross-appointed to the Richard Ivey School of Business and given the opportunity to create the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation, an institution focusing on bringing physicians and entrepreneurs together. None of these opportunities would have presented themselves without my MBA.

Why did you choose Dalhousie for your MBA? Did you apply to any other schools?

I believe it is very important that as a Canadian I experience and like different parts of the country. Atlantic Canadians often hold different attitudes and studying there gave me exposure to new points of view. This enabled me to better understand other Canadians and make sounder decisions in leadership roles. I didn't apply to schools outside of Atlantic Canada, so the only other university I applied to was Saint Mary's.

Do you think that current MBA programs have changed over the years? Do you feel the "brand" of an MBA has changed over the years?

Story continues below advertisement

Today MBA programs seem more specialized. Although I feel that there is value in certain specialties, a good general operational management education is essential. Students today are slightly younger but generally are very similar high achievers who want to further themselves.

The MBA brand itself has changed. Where I see the biggest difference is in the "tiering" or ranking of Canadian MBA schools, similar to the U.S. Often when discussing future plans with young people, the future doctors are not concerned with what school they get into, just that they get in, whereas the business students seem to live or die by the schools where their acceptance letters are from. This probably has to do with an increased focus on business school rankings and the job opportunities following graduation.

Do you feel that having an MBA is a relevant qualification for a politician? If so, how have you put your business education toward this country's governance?

An MBA is certainly not a necessary "qualification" but I have found it to be an asset, especially the operations and strategy skills. The MBA gave me the ability to think differently and I have been able to apply this to improving my constituency and parliamentary work; the strategy knowledge allows me to understand the needs and the operations knowledge allows me to address them.

I feel that physicians are trained to think differently than MBAs and that with my business education I am in a position to offer more value to my constituents.

Do you have any advice for a student currently in business school, either undergraduate or MBA?

Story continues below advertisement

I would encourage them pick something they enjoy, and immerse themselves; everyone performs better when they enjoy it. I would also advise them to use their educational experience to explore their country. A business degree, particularly an MBA, allows you work on projects outside of your geographical and cultural comfort zone. The more you do this, the better position you are in to understand our great country and to gain meaningful future employment.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies